How do you know your pet sitter or dog walker is qualified?
Ask these three questions:
- If they are a member of either of the two major pet-sitting associations (Pet Sitters International and the National Association of Professional Pet Sitters). Membership in these organizations requires that the person be bonded and insured to protect you, the pet owner, against damages, theft and anything that may happen to your animal while in their care.
- References, specifically, references that you are allowed to contact. You are putting your best friend in their care, it’s worth the phone call!
- A little about their experience; e.g. have they handled emergency vet visits before? How many years have they been doing this? Do they know Canine CPR? And anything else relevant to your animal, such as whether or not they have administered diabetic injections, are they able to carry your animal up steps if necessary, etc.
If you have a pet that requires medication, has a medical condition that requires any special observations or attention (like a seizure disorder, etc..), be sure to talk to that person about the medical needs, and if possible, see if they have had training or experience with similar pets.
Most pet sitters and dog walkers are very forward with what they can accommodate, what they are trained for, and what they feel comfortable working with. Many dog walkers have dealt with dogs with medical needs before, even if not your exact condition, and will be willing to work with you to safely provide services for your pet. If they have had clients with medical needs before, be sure to get a reference and talk to that person about their experiences.
Asking these 3 questions while interviewing your future pet sitter or dog walker will help ensure a happy, seamless transition for your best friend.